COUNCIL staff jumped ahead of frontline workers for a coronavirus vaccine after an email blunder.
An email invitation was sent to the council’s health and social care staff to give them priority to book their jabs.
Staff at a council in North Wales were able to jump ahead of frontline workers to get their jabs after an email blunderCredit: Getty – Pool
More than 4.6 million Brits, including these seen in the London Borough of Havering today, have gone to get their jabs. The people in this picture are not connected to the article.Credit: Rex Features
But it was shared with other county hall staff in Denbighshire Council, in Ruthin, North Wales.
Staff could then book the Covid vaccine even though they weren’t in the priority groups.
Council bosses say they are now carrying out internal checks to make sure the system is not abused.
Anyone who accepts an invitation when they aren’t eligible could now face disciplinary action.
BRITS JUMP QUEUE
A council spokesman said: “Frontline health and social care staff have received an invite from the Covid-19 testing email address to arrange a vaccination in the first wave of vaccines.
“A small number of these invites were passed to staff who are not eligible yet, although the invite clearly stated it should not be shared.
“The health board has been provided with a list of eligible frontline health and social care staff from the council and non-eligible staff will not be given the vaccine at this time.
“We have contacted staff to explain the seriousness of this matter and to inform them again that invites should not be shared.”
NHS data shows how the vaccine rollout is going so far across England
The council is introducing internal checks to ensure the system is monitored and not abused further.
More than 4.6 million first doses of vaccines have now been administered across the country.
It’s also claimed a leading London hospital trust has been administering vaccinations to people outside the top priority groups after they phoned for appointments without an invite.
A number for the covid booking system at Guy’s Hospital was leaked on social media, the Health Service Journal claimed.
People have been able to call the number and make bookings without waiting for an invitation for the vaccination since the start of January, it’s claimed.
A Guy’s and St Thomas’ spokesman said: “We are working hard to deliver covid-19 vaccines to those most at risk following the guidelines from the [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] and booking people in by appointment only.
“As such we are asking people not to turn up or contact us until invited to come in.”
Other councils have offered jabs to staff before vulnerable over-70s – sparking fears of a vaccine free-for-all.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council secured vaccinations for their staff this week, the Telegraph reported.
The move goes against the Government’s list of who gets the vaccine first, with the most vulnerable given top priority.
‘NO QUEUE JUMPERS’
Meanwhile, an Evening Standard investigation found some Brits could jump the queue – getting a jab before the elderly and vulnerable.
They have accessed links that are part of an online booking system operated by Swiftqueue, which is being used by some NHS Trusts to schedule jabs for its staff.
But it appears people who aren’t on the priority list or NHS staff members could arrange appointments in East London and northern areas.
Nobody should be seeking to queue-jump, we have set out why we are prioritising those we are, given the increased risk that those groups face.
Anyone above the age of 18 – regardless of eligibility – was able to book a vaccine after a link intended for staff working for the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) was shared online.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said measures were in place to prevent people getting the vaccine as a result of making a “false online declaration”.
They said: “Nobody should be seeking to queue-jump, we have set out why we are prioritising those we are, given the increased risk that those groups face.
“It is important that we provide protection to those who are most at clinical risk.”
Sue Green, executive director of workforce and organisational development, at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said staff there had been warned not to share vaccination appointment links,
She said said: “Individual staff in priority groups are invited to book a vaccination appointment via a link sent to their work email address.
“We have given clear messages to our staff that the email and its contents are for their own personal use and should not to be shared with anyone else.”
Staff at Denbighshire County Council were warned not to jump the queue for Covid jabsCredit: Wales News Service